Alone in the Classroom
by Elizabeth Hay
I just finished reading Elizabeth Hay's 'Alone in the Classroom' and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it even more than 'Late Nights on Air'. I really enjoy Elizabeth Hay's writing but tend to prefer stories that are set up north being a northern girl myself. This story began with a young teacher, Connie Flood, helping a struggling young man named Michael Graves learn to read in a small Saskatchewan town in the 20's. Her neice, Anne, is fascinated by the life of Connie and so begins to learn the questionable history of Parley Burns, the principal of the prairie school, and follows the story of Connie, Michael, and Parley through their early years in Saskatchewan and their time in the Ottawa Valley over the following decades. The writer shares Anne's challenges while she is exposed to obsession and opens the doors to the need to heal childhood sadness and misunderstanding in order to move forward.